Fishing: Charles-Henri Gallois says ‘main issue is the EU’
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Charles-Henri Gallois told GB News how the ongoing dispute over where and how many French fishing vessels can operate in UK waters, which has resulted in a Scottish boat being shockingly seized by the French, stems from a multitude of issues relating to French President Emmanuel Macron’s role as a key EU cheerleader and “representative” of the bloc in France.
Mr Gallois slammed: “Macron is like the representation of the EU in France!
“He won’t blame the EU at all! He is playing politics blaming the UK.”
He went on to say how President Macron is also behaving in such a manner as he “wants to show the muscle” for the upcoming French elections in Spring 2022.
The Frexiteer also suggested how underpinning the fishing row and the behaviour of President Macron is the EU and their role in forging the post-Brexit fishing deal which has caused simmering divisions.
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But he was insistent that this would not happen if France took itself out of the EU.
He explained: “I am quite sure that if we were out of the European Union, we could have a much better relationship deal between the UK and France.”
Mr Gallois said this would be because of the UK and France having common interests on fishing, that they would work together, without the interference of the EU and the bloc’s own interests, to build a better working relationship.
The comments follow months of chaos in Britain’s waters following a post-Brexit agreement that stated the French must apply for new licences in order to continue to fish in the 6-to-12 nautical-mile zone of UK waters.
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But carnage ensued after the UK said it had approved just 12 of the 47 applications it had received from small boats in France which sent the French into a rage. The chaos prompted French President Jean Castex to even threaten the UK by cutting “bi-lateral collaborations” on trade, immigration and migration.
Britain has denied that it has not been playing fairly while UK fishing licensing bodies have hit back claiming that a raft of French fishing boats did not correctly submit the evidence required to prove they have fished in British waters before Brexit.
The plans had already prompted French fishermen to blockade the port in Jersey back in May in protest at the decision.
But tensions hit breaking point on Wednesday evening after French authorities seized Scottish vessel The Cornelis Gert Jan, owned by MacDuff Shellfish of Scotland, off Le Havre, claiming the boat did not comply after being cautioned.
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But hitting back at France’s seizure of the boat, Environment Secretary George Eustice sent a stark warning to President Macron, slamming: “We don’t know what they’ll do, they said they wouldn’t introduce these measures until Tuesday probably at the earliest so we will see what they do.
“But if they do bring these into place, well, two can play at that game and we reserve the ability to respond in a proportionate way!”
It comes as France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune had recently vowed to use the language of “strength” towards Britain over the fishing row.
He said: “We need to speak the language of force as I’m afraid it is the only thing this British government will understand.”
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